Mala Responds: AfroVeda Price Hikes


Mala has read last weekend's article by Redd and the CN community's comments. Check out her response and weigh in!


Hi Nikki,

I completely understand the feelings of many of the customers who have commented on my reasons for the price increase. I've ready many responses that suggest that the reasons I listed were untrue. Nevertheless, they are true. In March of this year, the vendor that I purchase aloe vera products from (juice, gel and oil) increased their price from $40/gallon to $70/gallon. They gave no explanation why. I decided to look for another vendor and tried 3 different companies, only to find that their quality was not what I wanted for my products. In the end, I went back with the original company and paid the additional money because I liked the fact that what they offered was pure and organic. The same thing happened with the vendor that I purchase unprocessed Fair Trade shea butter and cocoa butter from. Their price increase wasn't as drastic, but it was considerably more than I had been paying. Those are not the only items that increased in price, only the two most dramatic ones.

I made the decision, despite the recommendation of my advisor, to absorb these additional costs and as I posted on the website, am now unable to continue this process. I could have stayed with the "inferior" products (which I don't really think are inferior, they were just not the highest quality), or used much less of the more expensive products in my formulas. Either way, in my mind, it would have yielded an AfroVeda product that did not meet my own standards -- which is unacceptable to me.

It has been recommended to me on numerous occasions that I find a "lab" to reproduce my products to cut down on costs. However, when researching this option I have found that it would actually be more expensive for me, especially since I have already developed specific formulas for them to follow. What makes this option cost effective is when a person uses the already-formulated bases designed by the lab, and then only add a few additional ingredients to make it "their own". It is easy to do because there are labs everywhere, but that is not the AfroVeda way.

I am committed to making products that perform the way they are intended, and will never compromise on quality. With the help of my chemist/consultant, I have improved the formulas for the hair butters so that there are no more issues with separating. I have also switched to eco-friendly packaging, and have upgraded the bottle labels so that they are now smudge-proof and water resistant. I have added a customer service phone number (which is posted on the website) and am now offering customers the option to call in orders, which wasn't an option before. All of these things I handle (with the help of an occasional intern/contract employee) while hand-making, processing, packaging and shipping 30-40 orders per day.

This explanation may not diminish the frustration of the customers who have supported me and AfroVeda to this point, but it is the truth. It is never my intent (or any business's intent I hope) to anger the very ones who have kept me in business. I greatly appreciate the customers who have embraced AfroVeda and apologize that this business decision has left them with unfavorable emotions about the company. It is my sincere hope that they have a prosperous hair journey, and that they would reconsider AfroVeda in the future.

Thank you again Nikki, for allowing me the opportunity to respond.

In perfect peace,

Mala Rhodes
Founder and CEO of Afroveda

71 Weigh in!:
Moni said...

Imo, whether this is true or not, it's a bad business decision. I'm certain that she would have kept more customers if she used the "inferior" product (since it really isn't inferior) and kept the price constant than increasing the prices so drastically. We (consumers) probably wouldn't have even noticed the difference. Many people simply can't afford the current level of prices when there are so many other similar products that are now a lot cheaper. It doesn't make any sense to have the best quality product ever if nobody can afford to buy it.

Shawnystheone said...

Moni you make very valid points. I wonder where all of this business thought and caring went into play when you launched three different lines without perfecting the your first lineup? You want your loyal customers to stick with you yet it seems you are way over your head with this business of making Afroveda a top notch natural hair care line. IMO , if you had of stuck to making your main products perfect then upping your prices to a reasonable amount, you would keep your loyal customer base. In the span of a year you go from $9, to $12, and now to $21? Afroveda's track record isnt that firm as of yet. Nurture small before stepping out on a limb and making a drastic change. A bad review flies faster than a great one.

Cherry: Extraordinary! said...

Thanks for clearing that whole situation up, but frankly (if it's possible)I think you should sell the "inferior" products as well. (I.E. selling the "original recipe" at the higher price and the "inferior recipe" at the old price, that way people can choose if they want the better product vs. the better price)Worse case scenario: if the "inferior product" doesn't work for customers, they will see why you decided to pay more for the quality products.

Lady Jaye said...

whatever. a 50% price increase still doesn't cut it.

bludini1 said...

The people that can purchase will and the ones that can't won't, bottom line. No explaination is necessary. It is her business and her decision. I am sure that she is aware that there is a risk that she will lose customers. To me, unless she is putting unicorn tears in the ingredients, she isn't manufacturing anything that you couldn't find in a cheaper hair product with the same results. Never become a slave to anything.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate her response to the criticism, it was very well put and calm, considering the backlash that has been on the web lately. However, maybe she should have tried another vendor, at least temporarily. Going up $30 a gallon for aloe vera? That's insanity to me! Like Cherry said, if people noticed a difference, then they would know that paying more was necessary to get a product that they loved. Also, I still think that reducing the amounts of products that she sells will help her cut costs, keep costs a bit lower, and help her business. Just my two cents.

Neems said...

Honestly, I think Mala's explanation of her price increase is sufficient. Her raw materials cost went up and she is providing a valuable product. Packaging is not cheap and she wants to maintain the product integrity for her costumers. If more people could re-create her products in a consistent and reliable fashion, we would, but we cannot. Sadly, it sounds like she has not reached a point where she can buy raw materials at a deeply discounted wholesale price and pass those saving onto the consumer (ie, Carol’s Daughter, Miss Jessie’s, and JessiCurl). In addition, she is using premium ingredients and high quality essential oils/herbs and those will never become cheap as long as there is demand and limited supply.
Yes, I think the products are expensive, but if the product formulations have improved without diluting the quality, I think it is a fair business decision. Maybe she should have warned customers or given some time of special offer for the first month but I understand the woman’s decision. Just like any other business owner, she need to turns a profit in order to stay in business and make payroll for her limited staff. Remember, a business with no income is no business.

Anonymous said...

I would have considered her response warranted if she was not changing the list of her ingredients and prices on her website. Her prices are still fluctuating, as is her full disclosure of her ingredient list. That shows me that she is not as honest a businesswoman as I initially thought.

Sabrina said...

What I find interesting is that people are still disgruntled at the price hike. There is a little thing called Supply & Demand. She needs to keep her business running and this was the only adjustment. If she was to up and change what she used in her products, then people would complain about THAT!

Sometimes we must make decisions that others will not like. She needs an amount that will allow her to maintain the products she uses AND gain some profit. We can't blame her for wanting to stick to what worked best for her products since it was the best that has made them so famous. Changing it might give customers drastic results to their hair and that's something she didn't want to see happen. How often have we seen popular brands change the product to something cheaper because they wanted more profit? She's at least keeping the products the same.

While I don't use Afroveda myself (although I may in the future), I commend her on keeping her product the same even when the demand began to rise. Let's hope she doesn't become like the others and start using cheap or bad products.

Anonymous said...

At the end of the day the simple fact remains that this is her business and she can do whatever she wants with it. If she was concerned about the natural hair communities’ opinion of her prices she would have conducted a poll prior to increasing them. I have tried her products and thought they performed as promised. Do I think it makes good business sense to have such a drastic price increase, no but like I said if she was interested in my opinion she would have asked. As a Kinky Curly lover I will admit that I don’t mind spending what others feel is too much for a hair product that has my desired ingredients and results. And I’m sure she had those kinds of consumers in mind when she decided to make the increase. People need to stop worrying about how others run their business because if you don’t like it don’t patronize it. In the end her real customers will continue to purchase the products no matter the price because that’s what they love. If Nikki decided to charge a monthly fee to view and post on her website she too would receive backlash but don’t think for a second her real fan’s wouldn’t log on to her site card in hand ready to pay that monthly fee to get what they hold near and dear to their hearts.

NewCurlie said...

I have been following this argument for the past few days. I have a MBA degree and am the ultimate consumer (I buy alot of stuff!).

I wont get into all the specifics of pricing strategy. Here's the basics. IF the owner has raised prices only in accordance with her rising cost (eg. raw ingredients as she states) and overhead remains the same, then her gross margins will remain the same. Hence, the owner will need to sell the same amount of product(s) as previous in order to break even. We all know that as prices rise beyond a certain percentage, only the loyalist remain loyal. Bottom line, there will be "leapers" to other less expensive, but comparable, products.

Think about when you are in the grocery store and your favorite ice cream (Hagen Daz in my case) doubles in price. Do you purchase that pint for $9.50? Chances are you bypass that confection for the Ben & Jerry's on sale in the next aisle for $3.99. This same principle applies to most consumer goods. Beyond a certain price point, consumers just wont bite!(BTW, this is called the price elasticity of demand folks.)

So as stated by "bludini1" - "it is her business and her decision". This is true not only for business owners, but also true of consumers. It is your decision - make it a prudent one!

Anonymous said...

People need to decide if they want to pay the new prices or move on. Sometimes it seems people think these natural hair product companies are part of some benevolent sisterhood rather than businesses that need and want to make money.

Anonymous said...

I once considered purchasing Afroveda, but hesitated because I've been disappointed by so many natural products that have worked for Sally and Susie, but didn't do squat for my shrinky-kinky penspring hair.

That said, I APPLAUD Mala's decision to preserve the reputation of her product in light of price increases d/t raw materials pricing.

Listen, if I ever find out that Afroveda would be my hair's ace-beaucoup+HG+BFF until the day I die, then there ain't no mountain high enough to keep me away from it.

You do you, Ms. Mala!

Be blessed,
Thetruthisoutthere

SaBrina said...

I personally haven't tried the afroveda products myself but have heard alot of stuff about the product. Again this is her choice to do this, and I'm sure that she knew that alot of her customers wouldn't be happy with the price hike. But come on now people there are alot of other companies that have high priced items, and we still buy those and gripe about the prices. So I say if you like or love the product continue to buy it, or just get it on special occasions, or get the sample kits that she offers on her website as well. I think alot of people were so used to her prices being so low, that they never figured she would need to hike up the prices. Well times are hard with this recession, and alot of companies are having to make plenty of changes whether for the good or not. I know that I really like CD Healthy Hair Butter in the 8oz it's either 16.50 or 18.50 for the price, and I will gladly pay for it everytime. Since there's a Macy's at the Olgethorpe Mall here in Savannah,GA I don't have to worry about any shipping fees, or delays with my products. But I say just give the lady some slack, at least she is addressing her customers with a lengthy response, some companies won't even do that.

L. Michelle said...

This has been quite an interesting debate. There are more than two to three vendors out there that sell the needed products wholesale...so in the research conducted to finding quality products...were all options exhausted? What about having the orginal and "inferior" products tested by curlies in the blog community? Lord knows there are enough of us...That way she is justified in saying, this product works better with XYZ products than with new products and she has bloggers/curlies backing her up..but to just go out and raise the prices overnight...nah son..I ain't on it!
As some others have said, those that can and want to continue to purchase these products...will...those that won't will find something else.
True, it's her business and she can do whatever she wants to do with it...but I don't see anything wrong with other people having and opnion as to how they chose to spend (or not spend) their monies.

L. Michelle
www.myhairisme.com

Anonymous said...

p.s. War, volatile overseas economies, poor weather and crop successes impact the price paid for raw materials, whether in cosmetics or pharmaceuticals.

For example, the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China resulted in massive manufacturing slowdowns that impacted the availability of some medical ingredients from China for nealy a year!

Like "Neems" stated earlier, Mala has not reached the purchasing level to get reliable supplies or volume discounts.

Did Miko and Titi respond so graciously when they changed the formulations on their beloved (yet exorbitantly priced) product lines?

Thetruthisoutthere

Anonymous said...

All I have to say is that anyone who has ever bought Miss Jessie's (or KCCC) products shouldn't talk. Cause im pretty sure mineral oil doesn't hike up the price of Miss Jessie's products. Plus, i commend her. She knows her products are valued by many (just as much as Miss Jessie's). Shouldn't the price of her products be the same as Miss Jessie's if its that good?

I use afroveda and kccc and i can't complain.

Erika said...

I agree with @anon at 4:25pm, considering the fact that 160z of KCCC is 30.00 and MJ CB~$32.00 8oz and BButtercreme is $58.00. THose are just a sample of their prices for their products that have some not so good ingredients. But afroveda who has a good quality to her product, and prices were low, and even with the price hike they are still much lower than MJ or KCCC. I feel like this if you find a good product stay with it, sure you may not be able to get it on a regular basis. But when it comes down to it, you will do what is right and buy what is best for your hair. So to the afroveda CEO do your best with the product, but also make sure that you give out better customer service. I've seen alot of negative on that issue. Peace and Love Everyone ...............!!!!!!!!!!

justme said...

I loves me some AfroVeda!!!! I'm not really happy with the price hike but truth be told it was one of the cheaper quality products out there to begin with. Now it's just not cheap. The price is about the same as other all natural products. I don't really question her reasoning because it's not my business. Just like everything else in this world, if I want it I'll buy it.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last poster. If you would pay nearly $60 for Miss Jessies, known to contain mineral oil what is the difference? I know first hand how difficult it is to run a home based business. Everyone has a suggestion but few, if any, of you have ever run a home based business. She does not have this arsenol of people to pick up the slack for her like big companies have (Miss Jessies, Carols Daughter etc.) Whether you like it or not it is her business. Makes me think of why so few black owned beauty supplies exist. Other races can provide the same products or similar for less money. Dare we support a black owned business if it means speanding $10 extra dollars? Be real people. We're all "I love my sistas" blah blah when it's convenient (and cheap) but what about when it's not?

Anonymous said...

i have never used afroveda products. i can see both sides of the argument, however. it sounds to me like it is costing her more money to produce her products. she had to pass that increase along to her customers. the idea of using the "inferior" materials that she references along with offering the products made with higher quality ingredients is a good idea. at least that way she could leave it up to her customers as to whether or not they want to purchase the higher end products or the less expensive products.

Anonymous said...

Unicorn tears???? OMG...that is funny

Sherrie said...

It seems as though a few people are forgetting about "loyal customers" who can no longer afford Mala's products. Not everyone who is complaining can afford to spend $21.50 for an 8oz. product.

Oh and for those of you who brought up KCCC

8oz of custard = $17.00
16oz of custard = $30.00

AV (Afroveda)(Butters)

8oz = $18.50 - $23.50
16oz = $31.50 - $41.50

*shrugs* Just saying

Anyway, I did a lot of research before the price hike because I wanted to try her products. It seems as though her formulas aren't consistent, customer service is eh and her preservatives aren't always effective (mold and spoiled milk smell). So maybe this was the icing on the cake for some people. I hope that with this price increase her business practices improve. That's all I have to say. Peace!

Anonymous said...

I think that initially Mala did not really count the cost of how much it was costing her to make her products. So let's do the math; that is a difference of $30 per gallon. When you divide that $70 by 128oz which is per gallon, that comes out to be $.55 an ounce. So if she has maybe 50% aloe vera in a product a jar of cream/gel that is 8oz would calculate to be (.55 x 4 = $2.75) if the product contained 50% aloe vera in comparison to previously $1.25 per 8oz jar of product if there is at least %50 aloe in the product. Usually retail is around 2 - 2.5 times the cost of making the product. It is unfortunate, because I make and sell products myself. Maybe initially she did not count the cost of what the products have been actually costing to make. When I was introduced to her line, I always thought, WOW that is great pricing. But I think that somewhere along the line, her accountant showed her the bottom line of her profit/loss statement. I pray that all works out well for her.

Anonymous said...

A person can choose what they charge however I dont buy her reasons and will not support her serems crazy to gauge prices to that degree

Anonymous said...

It's Mala's business so I'm sure her advisors warned her about the profit loss that may occur with her decision to raise her prices for the second time within a year. I've used Afroveda but have made a choice to move on. It's a business decision on my part and one I'm quite sure she understands.

Anonymous said...

The cost is not that much different from any other line. I will repurchase.

Anonymous said...

reposting my comment form yesterday:
she does use bases. it seems to me that its more than a coincidence that the ingredients are in the same order (besides some oils she mixed in) AND THE DESCRIPTION are basically identical:

afroveda:The pH of our hair mask compacts the cuticle layer of the hair, which will result in shiny, bouncy hair that is not weighed down. The conditioning ingredients form a protective layer over the cortex where the cuticle cells have broken away, which creates a protective layer or coating over these rough edges. The protective coating created with our Ashlii Amala Hair Mask also seals in moisture and and reduces static electricity.
ingredients:
Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Cetearyl Alcohol, Castor Seed Oil, Moringa Leaf Powder, Red Raspberry Oil, Buriti Seed Oil, Stearalkonium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, d-Calcium Panthenol Vitamin B5, WheatPRO Plus, Coconut Oil, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Pomegranate Oil, Meadowfoam Oil an essential oil blend of Lime, Tangerine, Orange and Thyme, and love.


essentials wholesale hair masque:

Truth be told there is no miracle cure to repair damaged hair. Hair is dead and cannot be repaired. But it can be coated and conditioned. The pH of our hair masque compacts the cuticle layer of the hair, which will result in shiny, bouncy hair that is not weighed down. The active ingredients in our hair masque leaves the hair feeling smooth, while leaving a "waxy" coating on the hair. The conditioning ingredients of this hair masque form a protective layer over the cortex where the cuticle cells have broken away, which creates a protective layer or coating over these rough edges. The protective coating created with conditioner also seals in moisture and reduces static electricity.

ingredients:Aloe barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Juice, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ricinus communis (Castor Seed) Oil, Stearalkonium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, d-Calcium Pantothenate (Panthenol Vitamin B5), Hydrolized Wheat Protein, Cocos nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Limnanthes alba (Meadowfoam) Oil

im not buyin it

Erika said...

Walmart and let me tell you what Essence Magazine has finally stepped up its game on the natural hairstyles. They have a new magazine out, and it has some banging hairstyles. So I just wanted to let everyone know just in case you haven't seen it yet.

Erika said...

New hairstyle magazine from Walmart just wanted to share with everyone.

Dizzietron (AKA Hadiza) said...

@Cherry: Extraordinary!

YES YES YES there should be a regular $9 line with ingredients from the "inferior" vendor and a Luxe line, what a fab idea.

Anonymous said...

In the words of the (now) famous Cadillac Kimberly, "Just because you're a woman and have a business doesn't make you a businesswoman." Mala had a few options to preserve (or even increase) her profit margins without such a drastic price hike.

Blakbutterfli said...

Just my quick opinion on this - either you will buy it or you won't. I guarantee that if she had gone with "inferior" products and had made that known, SOMEONE would have said "well, Afroveda does not work anymore because of the new formula, etc...."

I think it's important to support the sister rather than bash what she is doing for HER business. If you don't like it - buy something else. She knows this is an option and rather than go with something inferior for HER business - she chose to raise the price. Initially, she did not do this, but let's be real - you can't run a business and not make a profit.

Just a disclaimer - I've never used Afroveda and don't know the owner, but truly - some of the negativity in here is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Love the post. Thanks CN for searching for the truth and thank you Mala for keeping it real. I am always surprised when people are willing to spend a significant amount on products that they know are bad for them, but are highly upset to pay for products that are good for them. Personally, I hope more people will start making wonderful organic, wild harvested, fair-trade, and natural products so it will be cheaper for all of us.
Personally, I tend to think of buying organic products as preventive medicine. Do I want caner, alzheimer's disease, etc. or use products that contribute to developmental delays for my future kids? Is it cheaper to buy organic products or pay the doctor bill? Just food for thought.
Live, Love, Peace. ~OrganicallyGrownCurls

DvaAuNaturel said...

I think it is awesome this woman responded to the criticism about her price hikes. Very, very few businesses that we support for products we purchse regularly would even do it. Most of them could care less actually. Gas prices go up but do people stop driving...no, we just pay those prices and keep going. The prices of lemons, limes, and oranges have consistently risen too but we don't hear any outrage about that nor anything from those companies/industries explaining why. Let this sista run her business the way she sees fit. As a consumer if you feel the products are worth your money you'll buy if you don't think they worth it you won't purchase. I tell you this, she's got a lot of FREE advertising because of all this, that's priceless and may benefit her in the long run. Thanks to CN for lettin everyone have their say. Oh, and I'd pay to come on here....lol! Totally worth it, IMO. ;-)

Dee said...

So basically she is still lying. 90% or more of her products are Bases with nothing added. Additionally she has changed the ingredients list to remove Cones and trick the consumer into believing they are buying a CG approved Cone-free product. Raw materials caused the increase...hmmm no...But RAW GREED DID! Mala has changed her ingredient lists no less than twice in the past 2 days...trying to stay ahead of the people who discovered her lies and unethical business practices. She reads the boards, she knows that her lack of integrity has been proven. It's funny she responded to a letter on CN.com that was "sympathetic" to her "plight" but has ignored the majority who call B.S. on this whole fiasco.

Anonymous said...

@Erika said...
New hairstyle magazine from Walmart just wanted to share with everyone.

October 11, 2010 6:17 PM

What magazine is it? Thanks

My heart goes out to Mala Rhodes Poor thing, I hope she is not stressing to bad, if it was me my hair would be all over the floor. At first I was thinking that Mala Rhodes was kidnapped and the kidnappers made her change the prices and make her write the 1st response letter. Now this 2nd response letter is very heartfelt and could not be from the kidnappers..idk.. I bet this will become a lifetime movie watch. "The True store about Afroveda and owner Mala Rhodes".

Anonymous said...

Correction: "The True Story about Afroveda and the Owner Mala Rhodes"

Candace said...

I have tried Afroveda and a slew of other products including Mizani, Miss Jessies, Curlz...and imo, the quality is superior to Mizani and Miss Jessie's for my hair. (I love curlz). I will pay more for higher quality. Nothing else just works as well. I also feel like the rate hike makes it comparable to Mizani and Miss Jessie's. business being business, i'll shell out my dollars for quality over brand name.

Erika said...

@anon 7:44pm it's Essence Magazine in purple coloring with lots of hairstyles both Natural and Relaxed styles that I saw while in Walmart.

Anonymous said...

Wow....I just cringe at the negativity. Mala gives an explanation, and there are still those that "don't buy it". It seems as though no answer is good enough. I see this kind of negativity/complaining on naturally curly message boards, there is group of women on there that are consistently bitter and spread a vibe of contention and meanness. Many times I don’t want to visit the boards (particularly 4a) because the threads are often hijacked by a slew of negativity/complaining!
Ladies, let continue to be constructive and build each other up, that is why I liked this site.
Please, let’s just move on, either it we will buy the products or we won’t.

Anonymous said...

Bottom line it's a black owned business...support it! If you disagree with the price hike, send the company and email to voice your opinion like you would do any other product. Think about all the years when we were relaxed and gave away our money to the Asian owned beauty supply stores and never really questioned the price. Trust they were/are making money and pretty much have the market sewed up tight. So again support the black owned business...just sayin'.

JenellyBean said...

Never used it and at those prices I may never be able to.


www.KinkyCurlyCoilyMe.com

Anonymous said...

What she wrote was a nice way of saying: the price will stay the same and if you don't like it, oh well?

It may be that she looses business. But I guess she is willing and has been able to tolerate this loss.

I will not be buying at the new cost. I can tell you this; your vendor has pulled a fast one on you and they may just jack the prices up again. Perhaps you should use your business leverage to let him know you will go somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

Sure, she has the right to raise her prices, and I have the right to not repurchase. I choose the latter. Why should one pay $21.00+ $10.00 shipping for inconsistent products? Regarding Miss Jessie's, which is grossly overpriced, at least that line came in at a certain price point, which has remained contant over the years. Also, I have never had problems with Miss Jessie's products, nor does it take them one month to fill my order. If you love Afroveda, continue to support her. I will not. Just know that there are comparable products on the market. Afroveda is not irreplaceable.

Anonymous said...

I have never tried this line and I am content to keep using KBB which I can purchase locally. I am impressed though that she would choose to respond, as surely this is troubling to her.

While I understand the reasons for the price increase, it should have been gradual. A previous poster used an icecream analogy. As much as I, (and my hips), love Turkey Hill, I only buy it on sale, (no more than $2.99). Any more than that and it could sit on the shelf.

Anonymous said...

If anyone thinks this is the genuine truth are seriously misguided bunch. If anyone has purchases cocolatte before look at your jar and see if cocoa butter is on their, then look at the website. This was copied from her website and a jar that was purchased this year.

Here's proof...from the jar
Aloe vera leaf juice, rice milk, water, avocado oil, coconut oil, ashwagandha powder, extra virgin olive oil, nettle, herbal oil complex, shea butter, jojoba oil, need oil, glyeryl stearate (and) cetearyl alcohol (and) sodium stearoyl lactylate, phenoxyethanol and caprylyl glycol, and love.

On Afroveda... Aloe vera leaf juice, rice milk, water, avocado oil, coconut oil, ashwagandha powder, extra virgin olive oil, nettle, herbal oil complex, COCOA BUTTER, shea butter, jojoba oil, need oil, xanthum gum, glyeryl stearate (and) cetearyl alcohol (and) sodium stearoyl lactylate, gluconactone, sodium benzoate, and love.

So now who's lying?!!?

She actually changed what was on her website due to what was being said on nc.com...look at the thread-they show ample proof of her deception and tom foolery.

And to whom ever said that we HAVE to support a sista is full of crap. Just because we are the same color doesn't mean I owe you ANYTHING, you get my business because your fair, honest, and treat me like customer and not some dumb idiot who will buy just because your black. Please spare me that bologna.

Anonymous said...

Is Afroveda comparable to Hairveda? I never used afroveda but I use and love hairveda. Just wondering....

battlekat said...

I have never tried the line but after all of this noise I might check it out.

Anonymous said...

She lied about ingredients and lied about her products being handmade. She's also lying about the reason for her huge price increase. Most her products can be purchased in bulk for cheap online. Why would anyone in their right mind purchase products from this woman, knowing this? I'm not surprised that she posted this here, because she wouldn't have the nerve to come up in any of the forums with this BS. I hope that she goes out of business because that's what she deserves.

OloriOba said...

I provide refined and unrefined shea butter at reasonable prices in bulk. Mala Rhodes or anyone else, if you need some, contact me at [email protected]

NaturalBlackOne said...

Folks need to stop being so negative! I never tried the products, but now I want to because of all the backlash Ms. Rhodes has received for raising her prices. Seems like they were too low to begin with. The prices are high, but comparable to some larger brands. If folks feel she was being deceptive, move on! There are plenty of other companies out there. One final note: the hair forums are pretty rough on everybody. Too negative for my taste. I now see that happening on blogs and youtube just for AfroVeda, which is ridiculous...

Anonymous said...

Bottom line: Goods are either elastic or inelastic. Meaning, the price of the product directly correlated to your perceived value of the product.

To Anonymous at 10pm that suggested that we support the product just because its black owned. It's both irresponsible and disrespectful to expect to just support something blindly just because someone is black. If I deem the product too rich for blood that is my business. As others have said this one is not making anything that isn't already being created by other companies for a lesser price.

And those of you comparing this to gas/war/food- get a grip. We all know that this is no where near as important as those issues. You wonder why people aren't complaining about gas prices on a hair board. Its a hair website! I'm sure if you went to message board dedicated to the contents of crude oil you'd have a better case.

I have never used Afroveda and I never intended to either. Do I care if she raised her prices? Not really. Don't buy if you don't like it or can't afford it.

Allison said...

I really really love my Afroveda 4-pack of hair butters sampler that I've had since the summer. Great alternatives are Bee Mine Curly Hold Butter, and Bee Mine Luscious Balanced Moisturizer, as well as SheScentIt Kiwi Kiss (formerly Gillian Butter). When my Afroveda butters run out, I will probably reorder, as I like to keep a variety of products to choose from and rotate among, to keep my hair 'guessing' and not get used to one product.

Anonymous said...

I've purchased before from Afroveda. I am not a loyal customer by any means. Regardless of why she decided to increase the prices we as natural should understand the big picture. Today we have more options than ever. If we do not like a particular company we can try Carol's Daughter, Darcy's, Karen's Body Beautiful, Hairveda, Miss Jessie's etc. Mala doesn't have a monopoly on the natural hair product. We have more options and choices.

Levone said...

Wow, I've never tried Afroveda but this topic is very disturbing to me. The way that the hairboards/blogs/youtube videos have commented on this woman is RIDICULOUS. I mean calling someone a 'crackhead'. I'm with some of the previous posters, if you don't like the price increase move on. You don't have to insult the woman or call her a liar.

There are major companies that have been quoted as saying they don't want 'blacks' using their products, but I don't see an uproar about that. It's really sad reading a lot of the comments that have been written.

Anonymous said...

People aren't calling her a liar because she raised her prices. They are calling her a liar because she LIED. She claimed that she made her product from scratch when she was using bases, and she claimed that price increases of raw materials were behind this increase, when the bases that she uses still cost the same. She also lied about what ingredients were in the products.

SPIRITUAL AWAKENING said...

If you don't want to use her products then, don't. Bottomlime. Build a bridge and get over it. I've used her products for the last year and will continue to do so. All these people complaining have a choice, don't buy her products! Some people just like to bring drama...

People posting comments recently have really gotten out of control. This site did not used to be this way, its really unfortunate.

Anonymous said...

I would like to praise Mala for responding to this post. I felt that it was very courageous of her to do so. Some of comments that I have read and heard are harsh and unnecessary. I understand some of her reasons for the price hike. However, I do not believe the gauging prices of her products is mostly due to raw ingredients. I am not upset because she raised her prices, since she eventually would have done so to keep her business going. I am more irritated at the fact that she raised her prices 2x within the year and how she did it. This recent price gauge is doubled. If Mala had begun selling her products at the $12-$15 price range and increase her margin by $2.50 overtime, I would be o.k. with it. AV's shipping prices are not friendly compared to other online vendors I shop from. Yet, I still purchased because I liked the products. Having to pay for 3-4 8oz. items and shipping be $10 and up to Chicago is staggering with price hike. I have purchased AV 3x's and enjoyed using it and have not experienced any of the displeasures many customers have stated. I was quite surpised when I read and heard about the inconsistencies, rancidness and poor customer service on blogs and Youtube. I was o.k. with the 2wk shipping time, even though I would have liked to have my stuff sooner. Although, AV did make me and my hair happy, I choose not to pay such high prices for either of the sizes. I will happily repurchase AV if there is a great promotion that is calling my name. In additon, I am glad that I did not allow my hair to be too accustomed with just this particular line. I happily enjoy using OyinHandmade, HairVeda, Donna Marie and Koils by Nature. I thank God for making creators of natural hair products to give us options and variety. I wish AV and Mala the best and continue to prosper in every aspect of the business.

kinksncurls said...

At least Mala responded to the comments, although like most others I'm still not buying it (pun intended). Some of the comments here are disturbing to me. For example: If you purchase ms jessie's you have no room to talk, or you use to spend all that money on a perm, so why not pay double the price for the same product. Its a fallacy in reasoning, and a completely illogical flaw in thinking. It has nothing to do with the fact that the afroveda prices have doubled and people are disgruntled by it.

As a businesswoman Mala has the right to do as she pleases. While its good business strategy to provide an explanation for her price increases, she didn't even have to do that. But as consumers we also have choices, and we help to set the prices based on what we are willing to pay. Regardless of her business reasons I am not willing to pay double the amount for the same product. I can afford to but I am simply unwilling to pay double. As a consumer I'm also concerned with the stability of her pricing, as this is the second time she's raised her prices (this time drastically) and I'd be concerned about them skyrocketing again. My final word, before I completely sign off on this whole issue, is that sometimes as consumers we underestimate the power we hold in business transactions. Without us, there would be no businesses, and we ultimately help set the business standards and the prices based on what we are willing to pay, deal with. I am and will always be an informed, active consumer.

Anonymous said...

Only time will tell whether this will hurt Mala's business. I have always heard that the thing or entity that causes you to be successful will be the same thing that causes your demise (i.e. hair boards hyped up the product line, hair boards ripped up the company after the price hike). I still do not agree with the way she hiked her prices even though I somewhat understand. I have never used her products. But if she had an "inferior" line with cheaper pricing like Curls for Target, I would consider purchasing her products.

Anonymous said...

Sweet Mother of Jesus, people! Either you are going to BUY her products OR YOU WON'T!!!! I am an AfroVeda customer. I love her butters and they have worked wonders on my hair. So GUESS what? I chose to continue purchasing her products. Her prices are no different than Carol's Daughter, Uncle Funky's Daughter, Mixed Chicks, Miss Jessie's or Kinky Curly....in which I have tried all. I buy what works BEST for my hair and YES that means spending some money. If the price is what is keeping you from purchasing AfroVeda...then there are other products that you can try. Either you will purchase her products or just KEEP IT MOVING.....GEESH!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Afroveda was not really on my radar before this price hike. Now, I can't go to a hair board without seeing new topics about Mala and this company. I honestly think some of the comments I've read on the hair boards are outright mean-spirited. People are even accusing this woman of repackaging pre-formulated bases even though they have no real proof of such actions. It's perfectly fine if you choose not to buy her products. But, I'm really concerned at the "tone" of a lot of the criticism. It's almost as if some people are taking pride in contributing to and even hoping for this woman's downfall. I really wish some women would stop being so [email protected] messy. Get on with your lives already. Sheesh.

ActingDrama said...

Repost from previous article...

To the people who are laughing at individuals "taking shots" at Miss Jessies, please read their ingredients, look at the different ingredents used in their Target products compared to their online ones, why do they cost about the same when the ingredients are different.
I dont think you will be laughing then.




The natural hair community is being taken advanctage of by these so called natural hair companies and salons.

They are selling on the idea that you need to buy expensive just to maintain your natural hair.

Research is the key.

Anonymous said...

It is so sad that people always want something for nothing and if she was making a cheap product that was messing up your hair y'all would be talking about that too, the thing is you can't blame her bacause the products she uses went up !! and dang the economy is bad the other companies are probably trying to make up from loosing . oh and lets not forget about supply and demand that's how things go. prices for hair products are not the only thing going up , but a lot of stuff is going up but nobody is protesting that ! I don't like the fact the price went up but I like the product and I will continue to support a product that is made by one of us.
It's so funny how we are always supporting everyrhing else that is not made by blacks and never question the fact that the price was raised . we sure do support them Koreans that sell our product and never question their motives or even their knowledge...hmmmm but we are always looking from a handout from our fellow black entrepreneur!!! lets wake up and stop complaining and stop putting each other on blast. either support it or not it your choice but stop being against eachother....I AM A FOREVER SUPORTER OF AFROVED products......cause i love them and my hair get supper good results . And Miss Mala did not owe anyone an explanation. stop drinking haterade & eating disgruntled chips and learn to be congratulators ! and that's real .

Mzblakflower said...

Wow, maybe if this was pulled 5-6 years ago it wouldn't be such a big topic. But, now. . .Idk. I'm not saying her reason isn't justified but come on. If the price went up due to raw materials going up, then why haven't Oyin Handmade, Qhemet, Shidanaturals, Crown Essentials, Bee mine, etc all have increased their prices 95% as well? Why? Because it just doesn't add up/make sense. I still buy my all natural butters (shea butter, aloe vera gel, emu oil, etc) from a natural wholesaler and the prices did not jump. If anything I'm just really disappointed. And, if anything she just lost a very loyal customer. Because like others when I bought from her I purchase in bulk. Soooo. . .I wish her well, but her business will be affected tremendously from this.

Yam84 said...

I applaud Mala for being an entrepreneur who caters to Afro-textured hair. I have never used her products so I can not comment on the quality of them.

That being said, I would like to comment on consumerism. As a consumer, I decide how to spend my dollars. If I began purchasing a product that fit into my budget and said product price increased by a dollar or two, I would probably still purchase the product, especially if it were a quality product. However, if said product had a price increase twice the original amount, I would find an alternative.

I would love to support AfroVeda (if I loved the product and it worked for me), but I won't be able to try it because it's out of my league price wise. Besides, reading the ingredients, I could make comparable a batch of my own right in my laboratory (kitchen ;)).

--SheaNell

Anonymous said...

Why are so many commentators so damn mean? Do white or asian owned businesses ever get it in the neck from all the viscious comentators out there? No!
They save all their bile for black women just like them struggling to get their small businesses off the ground. Can we say, SELF HATRED!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Few thoughts from healthybrownlady: First, it is possible to vent frustration and disagree with each other's arguments without being rude. Let's try to keep it civil. Second, indeed business owners have a right to set their prices. Similarly, customers have a right to purchase or not purchase. It is a personal decision. Third, if you do not believe the justification provided for a business decision-say so and move on. No need for character assault and name calling. Finally, if you are a business person and end up in a PR nightmare such as this one, get help. Remain poised, apologize if necessary, make a plan for getting out of the funk, and pray--then pray again. Make it your goal to have your product(s) be of remarkable quality and value-period. Let the quality speak for you. Love you ladies. Remember, we are all family even when we disagree.

Anonymous said...

At this rate, I'm better off just copying the ingredients from Afroveda and making my own creations because she's really gone crazy with the prices now. I can easily, get a pound of pure 100% shea butter, coconut oil, pomegratent oil, etc... for under $100 (not including shipping). The prices are just getting ridiculous and I'm not purchasing from these major places anymore. I know what works for my hair, so I'm going to donate a good hour out of my day to easily make a batch of 3 lbs worth of hair products for MY hair to last me a good year, year and a half.

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